My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare

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Overview

Off guard: Young World War II allied soldiers laid bare

Every harrowing day for a serviceman during World War II was potentially his last. To help bolster troops against the horrors of combat, commanders encouraged them to form tight “buddy” relationships for emotional support. Many war buddies, together every moment, and depending on each other to survive, formed intimate friendships. When they weren’t fighting side by side, they relaxed together, discharging tension in ...

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Overview

Off guard: Young World War II allied soldiers laid bare

Every harrowing day for a serviceman during World War II was potentially his last. To help bolster troops against the horrors of combat, commanders encouraged them to form tight “buddy” relationships for emotional support. Many war buddies, together every moment, and depending on each other to survive, formed intimate friendships. When they weren’t fighting side by side, they relaxed together, discharging tension in boisterous—sometimes naked—play. The full extent of nude horseplay among men during World War II can’t be known, as cameras were rare and film hard to process, but some men did document this unprecedented male bonding in small, anonymous photos mostly kept hidden away until their deaths.

Los Angeles photographer Michael Stokes has spent years searching out these photos and building an archive of over 500 images. His collection includes soldiers and sailors from Australia, England, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and the USA, cavorting on the sand in the South Pacific, shivering in the snow of Eastern Europe, posing solo in the barracks, and in great happy groups just about everywhere. These images show men barely out of boyhood, at their physical peak, responding to the reality of battle by living each day to the fullest—a side of the war never before made public.

The introduction is by Scotty Bowers, an 89-year-old ex-Marine and author of Full Service, the best-selling memoir of his sexual exploits in Hollywood, and how the war forever altered his attitudes about gay and straight, just as these photos may alter our attitudes about World War II and war buddies.

Text in English, French, and German

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783836547963
  • Publisher: Taschen America, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/1/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 174,873
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book editor. Her 60+ books for TASCHEN include The Art of Pin-up and Psychedelic Sex. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2014

    Highly recommend!!

    Its a beautiful book of photography and history for those who like vintage naked men showing the closeness they shared with their fellow servicemen..a much more innocent period in time

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  • Posted September 6, 2014

    Very revealing!

    As a lifelong civilian I suppose I focus more on the glamor of war than the realities. This book shows a side of war that I believe few have ever considered. The day-to-day things we take for granted are quite a challenge when in the field. I suspect much of the activity depicted in the WWII photos would no longer occur in the new army where women are more integrated into service life. And of course, this book certainly delivers the beef! When the subtitle says "World War II Laid Bare" it ain't just whistlin' Dixie, brother.

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